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25 Things To Say & NOT to Say To A Loved One Leaving the Church

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Dr. Julie de Azevedo-Hanks, a popular blogger, author, and online mental health influencer, recently wrote a blog post for By Common Consent discussing personal agency and how to react when a loved one tells you they are leaving the Church. Rather than being a missionary opportunity, such times are actually moments to display respect and kindness. We’ve put the first five of each list below.

What You Should NOT Say

1) Are you reading your scriptures, praying, and attending church?
2) You are destroying our eternal family.
3) You are under the influence of Satan.
4) If you leave the Church you won’t be able to be with your deceased child in the
Celestial Kingdom.
5) How could you do this to me?

What You Should Say Instead

1) I love you.
2) We can believe different things and still be close.
3) I trust you to do what is best for you.
4) I want you to be happy.
5) What can I do to support you right now?

You can read the full lists and Dr. Hanks’ inspired commentary here on By Common Consent. 

Dr. Hanks’ has also provided free printables with both lists. You can get them here.


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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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